Category: Writing

Not Enough Apologies 2

Everything you’ve done pales in comparison to the screaming, blood-filled thing you’re doing, or are about to do. I can tell you that for sure, because I’m about to do it again. I just smelled the two things that my body wants: fresh meat, and the drug.

I can see him walking through the park, sucking on the telltale tube that flagged him as an addict. Like the rest of us were, he’s lost in his own little world that has nothing to do with the rest of us. Indeed, he wouldn’t move to help a baby being mauled by wild dogs if it was happening right in front of him.

That’s the drug for you. If you weren’t a self-centered asshole before you started licking the plastic, you would be shortly thereafter. The chemical social myopia makes them easier targets for those of us who have already died. Your dealer won’t tell you that, even if he knows about it.

My tongue was wet in anticipation of flesh, and I tried to prepare my soul for another murder that I had no power to stop. In a moment or two, I’d be descending into my own personal hell, and I still don’t think I deserve it. The body doesn’t care if I do or not.

The kid in the expensive shoes stopped on the path, and it was the one thing he shouldn’t have done.

Zombies like me are slow, shambling things, except when we’re hunting or feeding; then we’re superhuman. The kid didn’t know what hit him, but he caught on quickly.  You’re going to pay attention when a wild creature locks its teeth into your left deltoid and rips your flesh away.

I suppose, in a way, I enhanced his narcotic experience. The world was now absolutely, and completely, about him. It wasn’t a drug-induced illusion. It was cold, hard, artery-jetting fact.

Unlike many other people I’ve consigned to death and rebirth, this guy put up a fight. A knife appeared in his other hand, and cut my face to the bone along my jaw. I felt it with exquisite clarity, and would have curled up into a ball to protect myself if I were alive. No such mercy in the land of the dead.

I kept attacking him, tearing off chunks of flesh and eating them, as I was able. I paid for every with with hot, silver, lines of pain when his blade made contact. My body didn’t bleed anymore, but the rubbery remains of my flesh gaped open, and I could feel the cold of the night on my bare organs and bones. That’s certainly an experience that life doesn’t prepare you for.

Cut for bite, or bite for cut, I would win. I’d won before, even if I’d rather lose. I have no say in anything, because if I did, I never would have walked out of the morgue in the first place.

“To sleep, perchance to dream,” would have been infinitely preferable to bleeding out from a gunshot wound, feeling everything close in and go black, only to explode in frigid brilliance a day or two later.

My dinner would have the same fate.

I got the drop on him and tore his throat out with my teeth. I fed on him as he flailed and stabbed me, but not for long. Between blood loss and being unable to breathe, he was dead and cooling before I was finished.

I didn’t get to enjoy it for long  (I use “enjoy” loosely), because the sound of the fight drew the attention of every zombie who could hear it.

I heard on NPR yesterday

I was listening to the Diane Rehm show as I was driving somewhere, and she was interviewing an author who suffers from Parkinson’s Disease… Martin Cruz Smith. (Thank you,!)

He was talking about how his condition has pared down his prose. Specifically, he mentioned this turn of phrase:

“It was the kind of day that didn’t give a damn.”

How marvelous is that!

The best part, in my opinion, is how it conveys an invitation to the reader to make their own interpretation of what kind of day that is. BAM! Your reader is emotionally involved from the first sentence.

For me, the day that didn’t give a damn is much like today. I started my morning with a haiku experience.

I took out the trash today

Mostly I don’t write poems

Surprise turd on my shoe

Today, my gentle friends, does not give a damn.

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